Joanne MacFadden

Joanne MacFadden

MI GEAR UP Program Coordinator, College Access Initiatives


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Joanne MacFadden’s B.A. is from MSU in elementary education/social science with minors in language arts, fine arts, film studies, and women’s studies. Her M.A. (also from MSU) is in higher, adult, and lifelong education (HALE), with a focus on educational design and career counseling.

MacFadden has spent her student affairs career in the Lansing area, coming from the great city of Pittsburgh to attend MSU. She has worked at MSU for over 35 years, starting as a student employee working as a night receptionist and resident assistant. In graduate school, she started to specialize in at-risk populations and increasing enrollment/retention of under-represented population groups.

In HALE, she was trained to create workshops focusing on student success—including reading, test-taking, study skills, career planning, and learning styles—to help students “work smarter, not harder,” increase their success rate in college, and graduate on time. After developing workshops for Residence Life for four years, she spent several years training medical students in academic skills in the College of Osteopathic Medicine before returning to working with youth, joining KCP/GEAR UP in 1997.

MacFadden has also been adjunct faculty at Lansing Community College for the past 35 years, teaching student success courses, including first year experience and developmental English. She has two “miracle baby” grown sons, a dog and cat, and loves the Pittsburgh Steelers, plus sports in general. #GOGREEN!